August 18th, 2008


Madrid Olympics: friendly competition

Madrid is bidding for the 2016 Olympics, and its logo depicts, in the words of its designer, a "happy and colorful open hand" that represents "a friendly greeting" from the people of Madrid. ¡Hola!

Meanwhile, we, the people of Madrid, face challenges to mind and body that bring us the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat every single day.

Subway surfing: Remain standing on a moving subway train without leaning or holding on to anything. This sport cannot be practiced during the crush of rush hour, where the tide of fellow passengers will hold you upright regardless.

Linear marathon: How long can you stand in line? Ecuadorians, who brave endless lines at the Immigration Office, excel at this sport.

Rastro arts: Visit the Rastro, the Sunday morning open-air flea market, and leave with the same amount of money and personal possessions that you arrived with. This competition pits you against some of Europe's top pickpockets and is categorized under martial arts.

Running with the taxis: Cross the street against the lights. Prove your courage . . . or die nobly. Hemingway did this — cross the street, that is. There was a bar on the other side. And there was much less traffic in those days. But we all have suicidal tendencies, so put them to competitive use.